The Official Chicago Architecture Foundation River Cruise

90 Minutes of Amazing

Download Our 2014 Brochure - PDF format
Only the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Chicago's First Lady Cruises can showcase Chicago's world renowned city architecture with style, class and comfort. Learn about the architecture and design of over 50 buildings as described by CAF-Certified Volunteer Docents/Guides. Don't settle for imitations, look for the CAF logo. Cruises depart daily. Open-air and air-conditioned seating is available. Full Service Bar onboard each vessel. 

All tours depart from Riverside Gardens, Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive (Southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge). Look for our blue awning. Please be on time for boarding. Tickets may not be refunded or exchanged if you miss your boat!

Tour Details & Pricing

A portion of the cruise fee supports architecture education, provided by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. Thank you for your support.

Cruising Season:  April - November
Price:  $37.85 per person (plus city tax)

  • Tickets available online through Ticketmaster or in-person at dock. Advance reservations are highly recommended as many tours sell out during the summer season and on weekends.
  • Each person must have a ticket including infants and children.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your cruise departure time. Allow extra time in summer!
  • Cruise guests board 15 minutes before departure time.
  • General admission seating.
  • A full-service bar and snack bar are available onboard.
  • Ticket price does not include applicable city tax.
  • Tickets may not be refunded or exchanged if you miss your boat. Allow extra time!

*Please be aware that all bags are inspected prior to boarding and no luggage is allowed onboard.

Please note that all seating is general admission.
Applicable city tax not included. Tour route subject to change.


Tickets may be purchased online through Ticketmaster, at the dock in-person*, at the Chicago Water Works Visitor Center or through the Chicago Architecture Foundation*.

Dock Ticket Window Open Hours
Monday – Wednesday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Thursday – Sunday:  9:00am – 5:30pm

Payment methods accepted at dock: Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, China UnionPay, JCB, BCcard

*Tickets purchased in person at this window or the Chicago Architecture Foundation are exempt from Ticketmaster fees.

Chicago Architecture Foundation (224 S. Michigan Avenue)
Chicago Water Works Visitor Center (163 E. Pearson Street)

Tickets may be purchased at the Chicago Architecture Foundation and at the Chicago Water Works Visitor Center. Cash, Visa or MasterCard accepted. Open 7 days per week.

Online through
Secure your seat for the day and time of your choosing by purchasing in advance online at or by calling 1-800-982-2787. Choose any Tuesday or Wednesday cruise and save $7 per person**.

**Ticketmaster purchases only.

Purchase Tickets Online.


Groups of 10 or more may be booked directly by calling the Chicago Architecture Foundation at 312-322-1131 or emailing (certain discounts may apply.) Docents/Guides for private parties are also available. Group reservations are taken throughout the year. 2014 Season:  April 5 - November 23

Click here to make a Group Reservation.


Each Chicago's First Lady vessel is equipped with a full service bar and friendly bartender. Enjoy a choice of icey cold beers, wines, fun summer drinks, as well as coffee, tea and Coca Cola products. Bottles of wine and champagne are also available for purchase to enhance any on-board celebration! Credit cards are gladly accepted at the bar and group consumption tabs are also available.


Our docks are conveniently located along Chicago’s Riverwalk at the southeast corner of the Michigan Avenue Bridge at Wacker Drive – look for our blue awning! For map directions, please enter 112 E. Wacker Drive.

  • Within walking distance of most hotels
  • 3 blocks north of Millennium Park
  • At entrance to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile (Michigan Avenue) – famous shopping street
  • Dock located on Chicago’s Riverwalk, a scenic 1.3 mile walkway along the Chicago River between downtown and Lake Michigan
  • Enjoy lush, urban gardens of Riverside Gardens before or after your cruise